Improving US Theater Nuclear Doctrine. A Critical Analysis,
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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This monograph argues that the doctrine, equipment, and training of US forces do not meet the demands of fighting a theater nuclear war. Current doctrine rests upon questionable assumptions, lacks the flexibility required to fight a tactical nuclear battle, and limits itself by concentrating on defense. Recommended improvements include increased flexibility and decentralized execution, emphasizing maneuver and dispersion. Service doctrinal writings should focus on enemy forces rather than terrain. Because the nuclear battlefield promises chaos and confusion, US forces need redundant command and control. The equipment of US forces also needs improving, The services must field equipment capable of withstanding the effects of nuclear weapons. In most cases this requirement means making existing procedures work and the hardening of equipment. Some new items of equipment, such as monitoring devices, are needed. Training requires improvement at both the individual and unit levels. Individual enlisted training tends to concentrate specialized knowledge at too high a level. With substantial casualties expected in a nuclear battle, US forces cannot afford to confine specialized knowledge to a few individuals.
- Humanities and History
- Nuclear Warfare